Monthly Archives: December 2008

Santa Baby

csc_1121This picture was just too cute not to post even though it came to me just a few days late.  Santa tells me that for the most part, the Day Nursery children enjoyed his visits to our centers.  As can be expected, he didn’t get a warm welcome from every child.  After all, this was the first encounter with the jolly old guy for many of them.  Thanks to Debra Ballard, center director at the Day Nursery Start Smart 4 Children at Ft. Harrison for sharing this snapshot of a 6-month-old who loved meeting Santa.

Becoming literate doesn’t just happen

img_0885The foundation for learning in our Day Nursery classrooms comes from The Creative Curriculum®  which has been developed by a company called Teaching Strategies over the past 30 years.  Parents who are shopping for a preschool are often drawn to Day Nursery because we are NAEYC accredited and because we utilize The Creative Curriculum®.   According to Teaching Strategies, there are two features that distinguish The Creative Curriculum from other approaches: their organizational structure and their focus on interest areas.  In a classroom where children are beginning to learn how to read you will see Day Nursery teachers promoting literacy learning in the 11 interest areas that you will find in each preschool classroom. For example, in the Cooking area, literacy is explored using pictures and words on recipe cards and through talk about  words and letters on the food containers during a cooking activity.  In the Discovery area, children will find science related books on hand so they can explore more about the insects, plants or seeds that might be on hand.  They will also have paper and markers available for recording their observations.  In the Music and Movement area, children can be found using instruments for the sound effects in a story read by their teacher or working with the teacher to write words to their favorite song on a chart.   Becoming literate just doesn’t happen.  It requires teachers and parents thoughtfully and purposefully interacting with children and offering activities that support emerging literacy.

Free Family Fun & a Flu Shot, too!

target_famnight_50Looking for something to do on New Year’s Day with your little ones?  January 1, 2009 just happens to fall on the first Thursday of the month which means admission is free at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis from 4:00-8:00 pm that day.  This week’s Target Free Family Night at the museum features a bonus.  From 4:00-7:00 pm, Visiting Nurse Service will offer 475 free flu shots on a first-come, first-served basis.  These shots will be available for both children and adults.  And if that isn’t enough to get you out of the house…Scooby Doo will be greeting visitors to the museum that night at 4:00 and at 6:00 pm on the Mezzanine Level.

Track that sneeze

darren-reindeer-hand-dec-08-fortHere’s a tip I just received from the great folks at about teaching young children to cut down on the spread of germs. This works well in a classroom setting, a family gathering or if you are having a playgroup at your home over the holidays. Sprinkle a large amount of baby powder into one student’s hands and have him/her pretend to sneeze into those hands. Explain to the class that the powder is the “germs” that have come out with the sneeze. Let the person who “sneezed” pass out one sheet of black paper to each student. (There should be traces of powder from the student’s hands on the sheets of black paper.) Point out that this is how germs from a sneeze spread to hands and then to other objects: paper, door knobs, and so on. Go on to explain that if a person sneezes into his/her elbow, experts say that many fewer germs are spread. Demonstrate sneezing into your elbow and help children practice this technique.  To sign up to receive your very own copy of the Early Childhood Education newsletter go to

Toy Action Guide published


Playing store at Ft. Harrison

 The 9th Annual Toy Action Guide produced by TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment), a national organization of educators concerned about the impact of media and commercial culture on children, is out and it provides a list of toys and trends to avoid as well as toys of value. It is available free online at  One of TRUCE’s goals is to educate adults to provide children with toys and activities that promote healthy play and non-violent behavior at home and school.  This guide is in line with Day Nursery’s philosophy on the value of play. We believe that play is essential to children’s healthy development and learning. Every day in Day Nursery classrooms, children use play to actively construct knowledge, meet social/emotional needs, and acquire life skills.  Quality play experiences help children develop critical thinking, problem solving skills, curiosity, persistence, and creativity. Skills acquired during early childhood education time at Day Nursery contribute to a solid foundation for academic success in elementary school.

Fatherhood Hall of Fame

dadsincmark_new_17cmykDay Nursery Dad, Christopher Maples, who also happens to be Executive Director of the Indianapolis-based Dads, Inc. sent me an idea for a unique Christmas present. If you are still wondering what to give your Dad for Christmas, why don’t you reserve him a space in the Dads Inc. Fatherhood Hall of Fame. Chris says “Induction into the Fatherhood Hall of Fame is reserved for those fathers who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to raising their children. The only person who can truly determine if a father is worth induction into this esteemed club is his children. Therefore, we automatically accept for induction those fathers who are nominated by their children.”  To go Dads Inc. to find out more about this gift idea.

Day Nursery families reach out to Julian Center

(left to right) Rene Withers, Center Director with Center Director of Curriculum, Jesse McCloud

(left to right) Rene Withers, Center Director with Center Director of Curriculum, Jesse McCloud

Our staff and families at the Day Nursery Clarian Center have chosen to reach out to those in need at the Julian Center again this holiday season.  Tammia Belin, lead teacher in one of the two year old classrooms organized a successful holiday drive last year and has seen a great response again this year from parents. Last night when I was visiting the center, I noticed boxes outside of each classroom filled with food, pantry supplies, warm blankets, hats and gloves. Center Director Rene Withers said that each classroom has been collecting items for a few weeks and the donations are scheduled to be delivered on Friday.  Thanks to all the Day Nursery families for their generous response!